Chronology of Greatness

With over 115 years of history, Walla Walla College, now University, has seen its share of trials, tragedy, and celebrations. Here, listed in chronological order, is just a sampling of events that have shaped who we are. Sources include Terrie Aamodt’s “A Bold Venture : a History of Walla Walla College” (1992) and “60 Years of Progress : the Anniversary History of Walla Walla College” (1952).

1892 December 7 Walla Walla College holds its first class, enrollment 103
1896 May 18 First graduation, three graduates
1897 April 25 First Mountain Ash tree planted on campus
1899 August College Bakery opens
1901 March 31 WWC is incorporated
1902 Nov/Dec Typhoid epidemic in College Place; three students die
1903 January Smallpox epidemic in College Place
1909 April 22 Jubilee Program celebrates paying off the college debt
  May 24 First baccalaureate degree issued
  August 6 Artesian well drillers strike water supply
1910 October 13 The laundry and boiler room at the back of North Hall (old Administration building) catch fire; a wind shift saves the dormitory section
1911 October New power plant replaces one destroyed in 1910 fire
1913 January 27 University of Washington grants accreditation to the preparatory department of WWC for one year
  March 28 College Place SDA church (1st Village Hall) opens
  Autumn WWC enrollment reaches 400 students
1914 March 9 Broom-making business discontinued
  May Collegiate Association is created (precursor of ASWWU)
  Sept. 9 Bachelor of Music degree instituted
1915 May Western Collegian (the first yearbook) is published
1916 February Snow storm leaves 48 inches of snow in 54 hours
  September Collegian (a monthly magazine) is first published
1917 May Mountain Ash (the renamed yearbook) is first published
    Eleven college students graduate—a new record
  May 24 Alumni Association organized
1918 November 3 Flu epidemic; college closes for about a week
1919 January 18 College Place SDA church (the first Village Hall) burns
  January 28 Fire destroys the fourth floor of the old Ad Building
1920 April WWC church opens (the second and current Village Hall)
1922 Spring ASWWC replaces Collegiate Association
1924   Science Building (Bowers Hall) completed
1925 February 5 Collegian becomes a weekly paper
1926 January 21 College enrollment reaches 500 students
1927 April 28 OPS is established
  Fall Johnson Music Conservatory completed
    AGA is established
1931 Mar. 31-Apr.1 Flood in College Place covers a few streets in 4-5 ft of water (second photo) (film)
  April 22 First accreditation report denies accreditation to WWC
1933 July 1 Fire destroys most of Rachel Oakes Preston House (women’s dorm)
  October 17 WWC admitted to the Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools of Seventh-day Adventists by the Board of Regents (denominational accreditation)
1934 Autumn Conard Hall completed
1935 January 15 WWC receives senior college accreditation from the University of Washington
  April 3 WWC receives four-year accreditation from the Northwest Association of Secondary and Higher Schools
1936 1936 Conard Hall dedicated
  July 15 6.0 earthquake rattles windows at WWC
1938 August 4 Fire in the West Hall basement
1939 Spring Columbia Auditorium opens (second photo)
1940 Dec. 12 Men’s dorm quarantined because of influenza epidemic
1942   Martin Airfield is built in College Place
1944 May 11 Peterson Memorial library is inhabited
1945 Dec. 24 City of College Place is incorporated
1947 Summer School of Nursing opens at Portland Sanitarium
  September Sittner Hall, though unfinished, is occupied
1948 Autumn Master in Biology approved
1950 June Master in Education approved
1954 August Marine station property is purchased at Rosario Bach, near Anacortes, Washington
  Autumn First Mask is published
1957 October Over 100 dormitory students are incapacitated by the flu
1958   Cafeteria (later named Kellogg Hall) is built
  October College drills a new artesian well to replace 1909 well
1959 January Enrollment raises above 1400 for first time
1962 October 20 College Church (now University Church) holds first service (construction video)
1963 April 25 KGTS-FM goes on the air for first time
1964   Walla Walla Valley Academy (WWVA) opens in current location
  April 29 Kretschmar Hall officially named, dedicated November 1st
1965 August 22 Smith Hall dedicated
  Nov. 14 College Bakery closes
1966   West Hall, College Bakery, old swimming pool, old academy/normal building and the academy annex all removed during the school year
  February 27 Music department moves into the Fine Arts Center, dedicated December 4th
1967 June 2 Life Sciences building (Rigby Hall) is dedicated
1969   Alumni Gym (Winter Education Complex or WEC) is opened
1970 October Highrise women’s dorm (Foreman Hall) opens
  October 3 Biology Lodge near Tollgate, Oregon burns
1971 October 11 Engineering Department is accredited by the Engineers’ Council for Professional Development
1972 April Board approves the purchase of Hallmark Apartments, which opened in September
  December College is reaccredited for ten years
1973 May 17 OPS ceases to function
1974 January 13 Clyde and Mary Harris Art Gallery opens
  Autumn Harris Pine Mills opens in College Place
1975 January 8 Fire in a building adjacent to Foreman Hall damages the dorm building
1976 October Enrollment tops 2000 for first time
1977 Health Sciences Offices open
1978   Nursing Dormitory, Portland Campus (Howard Hanson Hall) opens
  Spring OPS reinstated
  March 23 Columbia Auditorium is destroyed by fire
  Autumn Classes begin in Industrial Technology Center (now Canaday Technology Center or CTC) (second photo)
1980 April Sociology and Social Work department is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.
  June 30 College laundry closes (second photo)
1981 Havstad Alumni Center opens.
1994 Nov. 3 Lindgren Chemistry Wing (Rigby) dedication
1996 August 20 New College Store ribbon cutting
1997   School of Social Work and Sociology opens campus in Missoula, Montana
  April 27 Chan Shun Pavilion dedicated
2001   School of Social Work and Sociology opens campus in Billings, Montana
May Lindgren Hall (Rosario) opens
2003 Autumn Original Administration building demolished (second photo) (third photo)
  Sept. 16 Mountain View Apartments official opening
2004 August 22 Rogers Adventist School (new) ribbon cutting
  Dec. 17 Rogers Elementary School demolished
2007 April 28 Grand opening of new Administration building  (second photo)
  September 1 Walla Walla College officially becomes Walla Walla University
2008 Summer Soccer field Completed
2009 Summer The Hebbel-Janke Softball Complex (women's) completed & dedicated on October 4th
2010 March The Express expansion completed
November Nursing, Health, PE, and Social Work remodeling of WEC finished.
Page maintained by Sid Nash
Last update on June 3, 2013